Ten U-Haul Team Members volunteered part of their Saturday on July 15 at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, assisting impoverished individuals in the community by serving them food.
The day began with SVdP dining room coordinators assigning tasks to U-Haul volunteers in preparation for the meal that would be served. Some volunteers set up the dining room with chairs and decorative flower pieces for the tables. Others cut the lettuce for the salad in the kitchen.
Making an Impact
Before the serving began, Theresa Jones, a SVdP dining room coordinator, gathered the volunteers around a beautiful mural. It covers a large portion of the wall along the back corner and includes the faces of significant individuals within the organization. Jones shared her story with U-Haul Team Members and how she used to be a guest before joining the SVdP team. She noted that “interacting with the clients” is her favorite part of helping at SVdP.
Soon after her address, volunteers completed final tasks before the guests arrived
Food is Served
The doors opened at 11 a.m. U-Haul volunteers served a tray with a fresh-made chili dish, a Caesar salad and a dessert.
Volunteers simultaneously worked on greeting the guests, serving the food, replacing empty water/juice pitchers and cleaning up for guests who were finished.
After everyone had received a meal, guests were welcome to line up for more food. Volunteers served food for two hours and fed more than 400 guests.
As the guests left, U-Haul volunteers focused on cleaning up the dining hall and the kitchen. The group dispersed and worked on sanitizing the tables and floors, as well as the washing the dishes. Team Members left the vicinity as clean as it was prior to serving the meal.
Jennifer Staley of U-Haul is familiar with volunteering at SVdP and admits it is one of her favorite organizations to support.
“I love St. Vincent de Paul because they do everything; they don’t just feed people,” Staley said. “St. Vincent de Paul actually clothes them, helps give them medical care, offers the thrift shop, cares for the kids and offers tutoring. They do it all.”
Latasha Ross is a U-Haul volunteer who has been actively participating in volunteer days for the last two years. She wants to give back and see what is happening in the community.
Ross said: “It is important for me to give back because we already have so much. To give back and bless somebody else is (necessary).”
Thank you to our U-Haul volunteers: Erick Acevedo, Steve Dudley, Silvia Hernandez, Jennifer Magana, Faith Mariles, Fatima Mariles, Rachel McMurdy, Latasha Ross, Jennifer Staley and Michelle Vukov-Mikel.